With a July 21 poll revealing that half the country still thinks Iraq had WMD, the Associated Press asks several experts why this myth persists. One answer: people tend to become “independent of reality.”

This is not without historical precendent. Pictured above is Hiroo Onoda, a former Japanese army officer who was stationed on a Phillipines island at the end of World War II and who kept on fighting until 1974 because no one told him the war had ended.


AP:

Did Saddam Hussein’s government have weapons of mass destruction in 2003?

Half of America apparently still thinks so, a new poll finds, and experts see a raft of reasons why: a drumbeat of voices from talk radio to die-hard bloggers to the Oval Office, a surprise headline here or there, a rallying around a partisan flag, and a growing need for people, in their own minds, to justify the war in Iraq.

People tend to become “independent of reality” in these circumstances, says opinion analyst Steven Kull.

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